Meridian Star

March 16, 2013

Authorities to receive specialized domestic violence training

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Domestic violence, specifically strangulation, will be the topic Tuesday for law enforcement personnel, medical professionals and attorneys during a professional training seminar sponsored by The Care Lodge Domestic Violence Shelter in Meridian and the Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Domestic Violence.

    Diane Mills, who is the community coordinator for The Care Lodge Domestic Violence Shelter, said two experts in the field of domestic violence will be on hand Tuesday, March 19 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Meridian City Hall Auditorium. Mills said Shalotta Sharp, a registered nurse who has worked as an emergency department nurse for 17 years and as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), for 12 years and is Nationally Certified in adult, adolescent and pediatric patients will speak on the "Medical and Forensic Aspects of Strangulation."  

    Sharp is the medical expert witness for the state of Mississippi in judicial proceedings involving strangulation cases.

    Paula Broome, who is a special assistant attorney general in the Domestic Violence Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office will speak on "Proving Strangulation Cases without an Autopsy." Broome also serves as the state’s domestic violence resource prosecutor. She develops and conducts statewide training for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, court clerks, advocates and community groups on the topics of domestic violence, strangulation, sexual assault, stalking, report writing and courtroom testimony.

    "The goal of this training is to assist the community in improving the identification, documentation, investigation, prosecution and advocacy with strangulation cases," said Mills. "The training is free for all law enforcement, medical and legal professionals."

    Established in 1981, The Care Lodge is the only certified domestic violence shelter within east central Mississippi that provides safe shelter, advocacy and assistance to adult victims of domestic violence and their children, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Care Lodge provides services for approximately 1,000 clients every year and serves the residents of Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Scott and Winston counties.

    The mission of the CCR is to bring about change by providing advocacy for victims and accountability for offenders through a collaborative effort of the system/service providers.

    "A CCR is the responsibility of the entire community," Mills said. "We have a very active membership that includes officers from the sheriff's department, the Meridian Police Department, the Newton Police Department, hospital services and ambulance personnel as well as local attorneys who prosecute these cases."